A grandfather has shared the heartwarming reason he decorates his home with over 1 million lights every year…
Sixty-four-year-old Keith Mitchell’s house in Suffolk, Virginia is beaming with 1.5 million christmas lights, in what has now turned into a festive family tradition…
And he has shared with Good Morning America that it all started when his granddaughter, 6-year-old Samaria Johnson, made a request one year for Mitchell to put up 100 lights.
“It’s all about my granddaughter for me,” he said, adding that she was in awe of what he managed to create. “Plus, it makes a lot of people happy.”
Mitchell shared that his light display has seen people travel from other states just to visit his decorations, with Christmas light connoisseurs coming all the way from North Carolina and Missouri.
“Last year I had anywhere from 200-500 people a night. Every single night. It was crazy last year,” he said.
Mitchell also revealed that the lights have a way of bringing up emotions for those who drop by, explaining that one year a man even proposed to his girlfirend in their light tunnel.
Tammie, Mitchell’s wife, also shared that one time a woman broke down after seeing her daughter’s favorite colors light up their house…
“Her daughter was a cancer child and she died. Her [favorite] color was purple. And for whatever reason, my husband hung up purple colors that year. That woman came through and she saw the purple colors and started to cry hard,” said Tammie Mitchell.
With the help of family and friends, the Mitchells have continued to bring joy to people since 2018, despite taking 3 whole months to create each year.
Once the light show is over, Mitchell has to store all the lights in his shed, and he’s even had to build a designated area to keep the decorations for eleven months of the year.
When it comes to the inspiration behind his designs, he said: “I just see what I want in my mind and I just go for it. I don’t plan anything. I just envision it.”
And he’s even given away next year’s theme, which is apparently going to be blue and white.
As always, the lights will shine brightly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, after which they will begin the long task of storing them away for another year.
This year, as a way of giving back, the Mitchells have decided to use the display to fundraise for the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, where his granddaughter was treated when she fell ill as a baby.
You can donate here.